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11 December 2023

Pakistan's Misbah to retire from ODIs after World Cup

This photograph taken on December 12, 2014 shows Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq react as he leaves the ground after his dismissal during the second one-day international between Pakistan and New Zealand at the Sharjah cricket stadium in Sharjah. (AFP)

By Reuters

Pakistan's long-serving captain Misbah-ul-Haq has announced he will retire from one-day internationals and T20 cricket after the World Cup.

"Misbah has formally informed us he will retire from ODIs and not play T20 cricket after the World Cup. He wants to focus on Test cricket," Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan told Reuters on Sunday.

Misbah, 41, told Geo News channel he informed the board about a week ago.

"I took the decision to retire after much thought and feel this is the best time to go from ODIs. The World Cup is my last ODI venture," he said of the tournament starting in Australia and New Zealand next month.

Misbah became Pakistan's most successful Test captain in the recent series against New Zealand in the UAE.

He was appointed Test captain in late 2010 after the spot fixing scandal in England led to Salman Butt being banned.

The board also handed Misbah the ODI and T20 captaincy in mid-2011 after Shahid Afridi was sacked as captain of limited overs cricket. In 2012 he was removed as T20 captain but continued to feature in domestic T20 matches.

Since his debut for Pakistan in 2002, Misbah has played 153 ODIs and scored 4,669 runs at an average of 42.83 with 37 fifties. He has led Pakistan in 78 games, with a more than 50 per cent success rate.

"Test cricket remains the ultimate test for me and this year we have some tough series coming up against England and India," he said.

Flamboyant allrounder Shahid Afridi last month also announced his plans to retire from ODIs after the World Cup and focus on T20.

Shaharyar Khan said the board accepted Misbah's decision and appreciated the hard work and commitment he had shown in leading the team at a difficult time for Pakistan cricket.

"He has been a big source of inspiration for the Pakistan team since the spot fixing scandal and it is his personal decision to retire from ODIs after the World Cup," he said.